Interview With Philip Athans

I got on Skype and interviewed Philip Athans last week. We chatted about adventure design, monsters, items, and more.

Philip is the author of Writing Monsters and The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction. He used to work for Wizards of the Coast and has penned several books over the years and edited dozens.

Download the MP3 of our chat for a good listen.

Philip Athans Interview Show Notes

0:00 The call kicks off with the writing process. Phil speaks from his editing experience on how to dig into writing your first novel. He also talks about writing with gaming in mind. “Think about your world as a feature.”

17:45 Writing RPG adventures vs. novels. 

20:45 Writing monsters for RPG vs. novels. “Why is the monster here?”

25:00 Avoiding monster mechanics in writing and gameplay.

34:00 What do you find scary? An example of emotional connection.

36:20 What if players just run away from your monsters?

39:50 What’s your approach to creating RPG adventures?

47:14 Tips for immersion.

49:39 Creating cool items. “Everything has a story behind it.”

57:48 How to show, not tell. “The things people create say a lot about the world in which they live in.”

Listen to the Interview

Here’s the MP3 of the interview with Philip Athans.

You can find out more about Philip and his services at and

Here’s Philip Athan’s world-building course. Just search for “world” to find it. (I’m an affiliate of Writer’s Digest. Use my coupon code AFFTEN to get a discount on his workshop and others.)

I hope you enjoy the discussion. I think there’s some good nuggets in there.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments